Meningococcal disease is an acute bacterial infection that can affect the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), or the blood (septicaemia); whilst some patients can have a combination of both.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of meningococcal disease
  • Discuss the efficacy of meningococcal vaccines available in Australia and their place in therapy
  • Identify counselling points pharmacists should discuss with patients enquiring about meningococcal vaccines.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.5, 3.3.1, 3.5.1, 3.6.1, 3.6.2, 3.6.3.

Competencies (2010) addressed: 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.3.3, 6.1.1, 6.2.1, 6.3.1, 6.3.3, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.4, 7.2.2, 7.3.1.

Case Scenario  

Rafiq and his brother are planning a trip to Saudi Arabia to attend the annual Hajj. Rafiq has heard that serious outbreaks of meningitis have occurred in Saudi Arabia, and knows that meningococcal disease is infectious and serious. He would like to know whether his childhood vaccination against the disease would provide adequate cover during his trip.

Want to learn more? PSA members can access the full article and assessment questions here to earn up to 1.5 Group 2 CPD credits.

Not a PSA member? Find out why more than 18,000 pharmacists choose PSA to support, advance and create opportunities for the pharmacy career and the greater pharmacy profession. Click here to join today.